Category Archives: touring bike
Mike’s Velo Orange Piolet is Loaded for Fun!
Mike's Velo Orange Piolet is Loaded for Fun!

I should preface this post with saying it WAS loaded for fun last weekend before the MWBA Pancake Breakfast campout. Before Mike, the new mechanic at Golden Saddle, left for the outing, I snatched up his Velo Orange Piolet for a few photos. Now, I’ve been a fan of the Piolet since its inception but haven’t ever been able to see one in person. Mike’s made the right impression with not only his build specs, but allowing me to see and ride this bike fully loaded. While we all obsess over parts and their performance, I think the overall picture of a fully-loaded touring bike is more relevant. For instance, people critique the Paul Klampers for being “too heavy,” yet on a tourer, that’s kind of moot. Speaking of moot, Mike went with a Moots bar, post and stem. My favorite detail however is that shot of the Paul skewer and Klamper, side by side, like they were meant to be! That and the backpack in the Wald basket…

Hopefully bikes like this inspire you to take your bike, put on a Wald, a saddle pack, flat pedals and just go camping.

May 6, 2016 46 comments
Topanga Creek Outpost Invited Us on a Two-Day Camping Trip!
Two_Day_Bikepacking-6

There’s been a lotta camping going on here in Los Angeles and unfortunately, I haven’t been able to partake in the festivities due to either work or other obligations but tomorrow, that’s all changing. The guys at Topanga Creek Outpost invited Kyle and I on a two-day bicycle camping trip Wednesday and Thursday, so I broke the Indy Fab out of my storage unit and loaded it up with my Porcelain Rocket bags.

This go round I’ll be traveling pretty light, relying on a sleeping bag, pad and a minimalist bivy for warmth during the cool coastal nights. My packing is pretty dialed at this point, with lighter items like clothing in the rear saddle pack, my “bed” in the front and food, utensils, tools and camera lenses in the frame pack.

I always want to do a knolling photo, but I figured it might be fun to do in-field rather than before I take off. We’ve got content scheduled for the next two days, so stay tuned and hopefully we’ll have some great stories on Friday when I return.

Feel free to see some more photos below and leave any questions you might have in the comments!

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May 3, 2016 19 comments
Nathan’s Bridgestone XO-1 Touring Bike
Nathan's Bridgestone XO-1 Touring Bike

The Bridgestone X0-1 should need no introduction. These 26″ touring bikes carry a cult-like following all over the world, sometimes fetching a pretty penny on eBay, especially when it comes to this livery. When you think Bridgestone and Grant Petersen, this bike usually comes to mind first. At least it does with me and my favorite part of the history of this particular model of Japan-built Bridgestones is how evident its DNA is in the Rivendell lineage. There’s something magical about this bike and when I saw Nathan wheel this bike in through the doors at Golden Saddle Cyclery, with his shit-eating grin, I actually hated him for a split second.

But you can’t hate Nathan and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather see with this bike. Especially once you hear what he paid for it. Sheesh. Since this is a special machine, I took some extra time with the photoshoot. I hope you enjoy!

May 3, 2016 27 comments
Hitting the Road with the Blackburn Rangers
This could but us but you...

Bikepacking. It’s one of my favorite ways to travel and for Blackburn, it’s not only a passion for them, it’s a challenge. How can design be intelligent, intuitive, reliable and most important, resilient to constant wear and tear? You can spend all day designing products in an office, but the real test is out on the open road.

One of the ways Blackburn vets their products is through the Ranger Program. Each year, they send out a call for entries before selecting six or seven Rangers to get kitted out with a bike from Niner and full Blackburn product. Their journey begins, oddly enough, at the San Jose Airport… Well, parking lot B at the San Jose Airport. (more…)

Apr 19, 2016 43 comments
Jonathan’s Rivendell Joe Appaloosa Touring Bike
Jonathan's Rivendell Joe Appaloosa Touring Bike

If the Greek god Zeus rode a touring bike, it’d be a Rivendell and most likely, it’d be a Joe Appaloosa. Rivendell is straight forward with the Joe Appaloosa. First off, it’s named after a rather unique breed of horse, then, they took their two most famous touring bikes, the Sam Hillborne and the Hunqapillar, combined them and made one bad-ass road touring bike. These bikes are confidence-inspiring works of art, chiseled from stone and as timeless, or legendary as mythology. Ok, maybe that was too much… They’re just damn sexy!

Those frames scream fully-loaded confidence with a fist-sized gap between the rear tire and seat tube, ensuring that even if you want to dive into a turn, this frame will take its own, secure and smooth line. Which is great for a touring or city bike. Loaded on descents, this long wheelbase makes for a predictable and comfortable ride.

Or, to be more concise, the Appaloosa is:

“It’s not for stunts, boulder-bouncing, or loaded expeditionary off-road touring, but as a trail bike for sober non-yahoos who weigh less than 215lb, it’s ideal, perfect.. That 215lb isn’t a scientifically-derived number, just a hipshot suggestion based on the Joe having a heavier fork than Sam’s and lighter one than Hunqapillar’s.”

So, when Jonathan was looking for a new bike, meeting the above description, he went with a complete Appaloosa. After a few upgrades, namely Paul skewers, Paul brake levers, a Brooks Cambium saddle, SOMA rack, Swift saddle bag and a Tomii bell, this bike is ready for anything… For $2,600 complete, this is the best looking complete touring bike on the market. Find out more at Rivendell!

Mar 30, 2016 44 comments
Fern Cycles Chacha Touring Bike with Gramm Bags
Fern Cycles Chacha Touring Bike with Gramm Bags

The two-man team behind Fern Cycles really impressed me. Florian Haeussler and Phillip Zwanzig craft frames in Berlin, designed to handle their specific style of riding. In 2012 they toured throughout Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey on two Chacha prototype frames. Their time on the road enabled them to dial in their preferences as to how a touring bike should handle and allowed them to design a line of bikepacking bags to compliment their custom racks.

This bike was built with Sugino cranks, Shutterworks generator hub, Supernova lights and Shimano Sora derailleurs but the standout products are the bags!

Gramm Bags are made in Fern’s shop and have some clever detailing, as well as minimal branding. Personally, I thought this was the best touring rig at the Berliner Fahrradschau and had a lot of fun documenting this bike.

Nice meeting you guys!

Mar 22, 2016 64 comments